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  • Your Old Dog
    replied
    My complete wood working shop was paid for from dollars doing small jobs for my employer. I found if I can make myself indispensable from a cost/time point of view that they kept coming back to me. I did a lot of multiple items that became much easier once I got past the first one. My wood shop has everything but a shaper as I don't have a need for one.

    I'd suggest being as reasonable as you can until they start throwing really tedious work at you and then up the price on those items. If you want the work, it's easier up then it is to go down in price as they won't even come to you to give you a chance.

    (while I have next to no household money in the wood shop, the machine shop is a much different story!)

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  • Davek0974
    replied
    Originally posted by J Tiers
    I'd trust him to make anything, or to tell me that he could not do it.
    Thats the important part:- I would not take a job on that I didnt think I could complete satisfactorily.

    There is a stigma attached to home shops, a lot of businesses would likely not send work to one for fear of getting a substandard job or long lead times, the list goes on. Its not because of the machinery or skills, its just because its a home shop and not a business.

    I can basically charge what i want, within reason, but mistakes are taken on the chin (or in the wallet). On the plus side, I can spend more time in setting up or planning the job as I don't have anyone on my back with six more jobs waiting, this time is not charged for so the customer can win here.

    I know fully well that high quality can come from crap machinery, i've seen it and was amazed. Knowledge in you and your machines' capabilities and quirks is the key factor here.

    Before i set up my shop, i sent plenty of work to another home enterprise, the quality was there and we were happy with the pricing, it can be done.

    I think the bottom line for me is that I would not take a job on that I couldn't afford to replace if I royally screwed it up or it was stolen etc. My stuff is all simple jobs that a lot of big shops give silly quotes on.

    Dave

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  • J Tiers
    replied
    Originally posted by DR
    We're speaking in generalities here.
    you certainly must be.

    The machines have everything to do with it. No matter the skill of the machinist, the machines available are the biggest factor.
    So you would say that the same part, made to identical specs, visually and metallurgically identical, is less valuable because it was touched by a home shop person, and because the machines used to make it were not owned by a "professional" shop?

    You are asserting that the very "touch" of an HSM is sufficiently "polluting" to make the parts useless or worth only a fraction of those made by a "professional"?

    You are, of course, going against the conventional and viciously defended concept prevalent here that the best precision can be produced on the worst sort of trashy machine, by a good workman.

    I'd go against that load of crap too, but I don't agree that a part made by an HSM inherently has "cooties", which you seem to claim.

    As for the rest of what you said, which I am gleefully ignoring because what you already said is easier to totally ridicule if I DO ignore it.......

    That does not seem to cover the situation described.

    But most HSM folks would "pick up the order", and "have their driver deliver it", and are perfectly capable of presenting an invoice...... there are such things as computers and word processing programs.

    Screwups are covered, or the person involved is not being honest. I have had shops try to get out from under too.

    That said, I know several people who take outside work. Most of them are machinists on their day job, and have a shop at home also.

    The very best one of them has a large JET lathe, a JET Bridgeport clone, and some other stuff, including an import surface grinder. I'd trust him to make anything, or to tell me that he could not do it.

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  • Bazz
    replied
    Interesting post

    I have a small shop in town and I try to send customers to well equiped home shop and most of them do not want to go

    Here is why
    very often in my shop a small walk in job will be quote in 5 sec ,some of my friend that have home shop will calculate ,call for material price ,go get the material will pay more then i did and need a down payment ,have to send the wife deliver because he is working in the day ect...

    All my customer want is good work on time for a reasonable price


    I was a home shop that out grew the space I had and so I understand both sides
    keep in mind that professional shops get some incredible deal on tooling and material and can get free labor from school programs and in general all the supply delivery are free

    Another thing a home shop has to deal with before making a price for a job is knowing your competion example if your customer has many choice to have the work done your time (your product) is less valuable but if you do some work that you know nobody does around well it is fairly easy to compete and get professional rates

    I started in a home shop and things really got easier after I went professional (with the same machine)

    Bazz

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  • Scishopguy
    replied
    Re: Screwups

    Carl...Your view of things is the same as the way all of my former employers was. If you screw up we eat the time and material. That said, we always ordered enough material to make a few extra parts. If we didn't screw up we had enough to make a couple extra when the customer screwed up and really needed a couple more than they figured.

    PS: I have never seen anyone rich enough to insure against mistakes. I guess I never made any really expensive parts.

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  • Carld
    replied
    The shops I have worked in pay out of pocket for screwups unless we are talking several thousand dollars and up. Even then the insurance would be very high and most small businesses only carry liability insurance.

    I have a home shop since I retired and my screwups are out of pocket and off the customers time. I have a time clock and I punch off the job and onto the redo time so I know how much it cost me. I then enter all the job info on the back of my copy of the invoice so I know the profit/loss and materials. I keep a record for future work. I did that when I was in business full time and I still do it.

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  • DR
    replied
    Originally posted by J Tiers
    I don't see what the equipment has to do with it at all.

    If the parts are made to print, the job is worth what the going rate is, and I don't give a rat's fuzzy little ass who made them, or what color the machines were.

    After that is agreed, as it should be by anyone who thinks for a second or two, THEN you can decide to undercut the commercial shop if you like. I would, maybe 10%, 15% or so, just to ensure I got any repeat biz (assuming you want repeat biz).
    We're speaking in generalities here. The machines have everything to do with it. No matter the skill of the machinist, the machines available are the biggest factor.

    I subcontract thousands of dollars of work in some years and the first thing I ask is what machines do you have? When I send work out I want the quality and appearance to equal what we do in shop. Even if the part meets tolerances and function, it has to meet appearances. You just plain can't do that without equivalent machinery.

    Now, in the situation where a home shop'er can make the equal part in all respects, I still would not advise him to match the local commercial rates. By doing that he may lose the advantage he has over commercial shops. I'd much rather deal with a store front commercial shop than a part home shop'er. I know the commercial shop's hours and where to find them during business hours. They deal in NET30 and likely have insurance to cover screw ups.

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  • Davek0974
    replied
    Wow, some good input here, thanks,

    In the end, after much calculating, i went with 1.5x my take-home(after deductions) hourly rate on a basic week plus materials at 1.5x cost.

    It came up with a price i was happy with for the job and i'll keep it as a formula for future jobs.

    As i said, its a family business and i'm certainly not out to gouge them for full shop rates plus a bit. There are plenty of other perks to the job to risk looking greedy.

    Final price was about £8.00 each, bear in mind that it was a low accuracy part and only rough finishing was required.

    Dave

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  • J Tiers
    replied
    Originally posted by DR
    No, I don't think I am.

    I just feel you have to be sure your home shop is as well equipped as a commercial shop if you want to use the commercial shop rate for home jobs. And the home shop guy should have experience to match also. This would apply to both manual and CNC, use the commercial rate only if you have comparable equipment.

    I have subbed work out to home shop guys (a friend who begged for work). The guy even had a Hardinge tool room lathe ($$$$), which is easily capable of holding the tolerances needed. Unfortunately he wasn't.
    I don't see what the equipment has to do with it at all.

    If the parts are made to print, the job is worth what the going rate is, and I don't give a rat's fuzzy little ass who made them, or what color the machines were.

    After that is agreed, as it should be by anyone who thinks for a second or two, THEN you can decide to undercut the commercial shop if you like. I would, maybe 10%, 15% or so, just to ensure I got any repeat biz (assuming you want repeat biz).

    Leave a comment:


  • macona
    replied
    Originally posted by wierdscience
    Well equipped is a pretty broad standard,I have seen home shops with MUCH better equipment than commercial shops I have worked in.
    Yep, I'm one of them, or so I have been told.

    I think I charged about $2500 to make 10 of these including materials, and they were going to do the finishing! They wanted them from one piece of aluminum and the holes needed to be accurate because of gearing mounted to it.:

    Last edited by macona; 10-13-2008, 12:42 AM.

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  • wierdscience
    replied
    Originally posted by DR
    No, I don't think I am.

    I just feel you have to be sure your home shop is as well equipped as a commercial shop if you want to use the commercial shop rate for home jobs. And the home shop guy should have experience to match also. This would apply to both manual and CNC, use the commercial rate only if you have comparable equipment.

    I have subbed work out to home shop guys (a friend who begged for work). The guy even had a Hardinge tool room lathe ($$$$), which is easily capable of holding the tolerances needed. Unfortunately he wasn't.
    Well equipped is a pretty broad standard,I have seen home shops with MUCH better equipment than commercial shops I have worked in.Why?Because the owner cared more.

    Just because somebody has a lathe or mill doesn't mean they know what they are doing.It is also true that just because a commercial shop has loads of the latest machines doesn't mean they know what they're doing either.

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  • Carld
    replied
    jkilroy, , that's my thoughts also.

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  • jkilroy
    replied
    "The local, well run shop"

    You "ASS U ME" that he isn't the only well run show. There is a local well run shop in my town, and they do only oilfield work, so they are out, and the other shop, well, lets just say the owner should spend much time in the sunlight after sucking all his customers dry!

    If its a hobby gig, charge enough that you are happy about it after you are done with the job. If you finish a job and wish you had never taken it, you didn't charge enough.

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  • Carld
    replied
    Your right macona, today finished a job that I thought I used a heavy pencil on and even added some to the time after that. When I added the material, delivery fee and labor I rounded it up the to $400. They jumped on my bid. My labor bid was 8.9 hrs and I thought that was high. When I finished I had 11hrs-23 minutes in it. I don't waste time and hustle as much as I can.

    I could have taken my first figure of 7.5 hrs and doubled it to 15 hrs and not had to chase my butt so hard. I think they would have still said do it. The problem is they have three more machines they may want to repair and now the price is set.

    Then there's the times I try to keep the price low for someone and lose my butt on the deal.

    Some day I will learn how to bid. At least it has always come in above my lowest labor rate.
    Last edited by Carld; 10-12-2008, 09:57 PM.

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  • DR
    replied
    Some of you guys are charging what seems to me like high shop rates for at home work.

    Also, do I detect a "screw the customer before he screws me attitude" in some of these posts?

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